From PCOS to Fertility- Case Study.
Table Of Content
Dr. Annushree joined us a year and a half back with the clear goal of reducing weight. Having struggled with hormonal imbalance for a while, our intention was to help Annushree reach a hormonal balance first, which would make her weight loss process easy.
There was an instant click working with her from day 1! Even though she physically active before joining us, Annushree did not see the weight scale bulge despite her efforts. When we say clients that 80% of your results depend on your diet, we really do mean it.
Annushree came across my instagram page a few years ago and had been an avid follower since then. While there is so much about social media I personally dislike, I truly cannot be grateful enough for it to give me a voice to reachout to people globally.
In India, every 1 in 5 women suffers from PCOS, and 1 in every 15 married couples are undergoing fertility disorders. But, the real problem lies in poor lifestyle habits and lack of awareness. Fertility planning with PCOS is not as hard as we make of it in our minds. With the right lifestyle and nutritional habits, you can very well conceive with PCOS. Read this blog I wrote about PCOS more more information:
Let’s share the inspiring journey of Anushree to motivate you today.
From Struggle to Success – Understanding The Protocols Of Treatments.
From periods so painful that she had to take medicines to manage getting through the day to irregular cycles, Annushree was clearly struggling when she first joined. She however did trust us to do right by her and changed things about her lifestyle and eating habits.
Rightly so, Annushree's weight started dropping fast and within as little as a few months she lost nearly ten kilo's. Most of us do not realise that every extra cell of fat in the body is like a hormone making factory, pumping out excess sex hormones into our bloodstream. These hormones keep us sick and fuel PCOS symptoms.
With the weight going down, Annushree started seeing an improvement in her PMS pain and even saw her cycles get back to normal.
Not only this, Annushree was ready within a few months to plan for her first pregnancy! She naturally conceived in just a few months of consciously working on her nutrition and was in her peak health.
I highly insist my clients to give us atleast 3-5 months to work on their health before they plan pregnancy. Before you decide to have a baby growing within you, you want to make sure that your nutritional stores are full, your health markers are at its peak and hormonal health is taken care of.
Annushree did not have to worry about gestational diabetes, hypertension or any other common pregnancy related complications.
We worked on the smallest of things like:
- getting her dental checkup's (did you know dental low grade infections can lead to miscarriages!),
- to making sure she is avoiding obesogenic products in her diet that can lead to the baby being genetically obese,
- to curating breath work techniques that can help with a successful delivery.
Transitioning to a new way of living...
Dairy is a hormone disrupter in itself and especially with the quality to dairy we are exposed to now, it can do more harm than good for PCOS. In Anushree's own words, "I used to be a very big milk, curd and cheese person", but her transition to going plant- based was smoother than ever!
Annushree was living in a small town on the outskirts of TN when she joined us. But the team assured her that we would still help curate her meal plan based on the availability of ingredients around her.
She did not resort to expensive plant- mylk options, nor did she give up on the tasty foods she liked. She simply learnt techniques to quickly make healthier alternatives at home! Our team helped her with video's, written recipes and constant support to help her make transition effortless.
Continuing support and motivation...
Every pregnancy is different. We also live in a society where there is so much love and attention given to the pregnant women at home. Sometimes, this means, that there are dietitian without degrees at home constantly giving nutritional advice to the soon- to- be mother.
Now granted this is out of sheer love, it can be quite confusing to the poor pregnant parents.
But one of the biggest support Annushree had during the program was a 24/7 access to our in- house gynac (the very best Dr. Anita!) and her very own go to nutritionist.
Be it the smallest of doubts, Annushree was encouraged to ask her doubts and this gave the the mental freedom to keep her stress levels low.
In her words, "I was confident that there is a doctor with the team and I will be taken care of".
Lifestyle Changes Chosen for Annushree:
Annushree's journey was smooth because of the lifestyle changes we incorporated for her. These were changes specifically chosen for her health goal. Let's dive in to see how they helped her:
Focus on a low AGE diet:
We first prioritize food habits to cure PCOS from the root. Research claims that there is an inherent relation between advanced glycation end products (AGEs) with inflammation, oxidative stress, cell damage, and insulin resistance in our body.
A diet high in AGE's lead to making your symptoms worse. Hence, from the very first day, we educated Anushree about high-AGE food like dairy products (cheese, butter), oil's, roasted nuts etc and asked her to instead consume foods like whole grains, legumes, raw nuts and seeds, fresh vegetables, and seasonal fruits for improvement.
High intake of folate-rich foods:
We all know that pregnant women and adolescent girls are prescribed folic acid and iron tablets for a healthy reproductive system. Folic acid helps prevent birth defects.
But with Annushree, aside from the supplement, we also wanted to include natural sources of iron and folate to her diet. Her recipes were hand picked and curated to include specific super- foods that helped her baby thrive! Some of these were:
- Leafy Greens
- Legumes and Pulses
- Chia Seeds
Staying away from hormone disruptors and obesogens
The third important lifestyle change was to keep Annushree away from hormone disruptors and obesogens. There could be products in the environment from shampoo's, conditioners and even cleaning products that can interfere with the growth of the baby in the womb.
One of the common EDC we find in materials produced from plastic is BPA (bisphenol A). BPA is banned in many countries due to its relationship to infertility. Making small changes like asking Annushree to carry water in steel bottles only to work and avoid plastic tiffin containers made a huge difference.
Fix the circadian cycle
Women suffering from PCOS tend to have cardiac rhythm dysfunctions. This not only led to hormonal imbalances but also caused insulin resistance and obesity.
The circadian rhythm, which regulates our sleep-wake cycles and various physiological processes, plays a crucial role in maintaining overall well-being.
Disruptions to this delicate balance, such as irregular sleep patterns, shift work, or exposure to artificial light at night, can disrupt the hormonal regulation necessary for optimal reproductive health.
Studies have indicated that individuals with disrupted circadian rhythms may experience hormonal imbalances, including decreased production of reproductive hormones such as:
- luteinizing hormone (LH), and,
- follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH),
which are essential for ovulation and sperm production.
This change was easy for Annushree, but making sure she gets enough sunlight exposure in the morning, mobility in the morning etc made this change effortless.
Healthy Recipes Anushree Tried That Helped Her Healing Journey.
If your nutrition plan is not tasty, you are doing it wrong! Annushree's food diary pictures were a treat to watch for the whole team. She quickly understood our guidelines and adapted them to traditional Rajesthani recipes, just the way she liked eating.
Some of the amazing food she ate during her journey are:
Tofu kali mirch
Not only is tofu an essential food group for calcium and proteins, both very important for a growing fetus, but is also anti- oxidant.
Did you know that the phytoestrogens present in Tofu help with hormonal balance and even prevent many types of cancers! Annushree took this superfood and came up with her own fun version of the recipe that was just perfect!
Spinach and banana smoothie
Annushree was working full time into her pregnancy journey. Thus, our team had to get super creative in coming up with recipes that are easy, fun and yet very nutritious.
This five minute breakfast recipe is loaded in folate, iron, calcium and even essential fatty acids! it is refreshing in the summer's and easy to carry to work! it is this thoughtful efforts from the team in coming up with recipes that suit her time constrains that made the plan easy for her.
Let's just say, Indian garam- garam breakfast is everyones favourite time of the day!
So we came up with a healthy chilla recipe. With the goodness of turmeric, thyroid friendly mushrooms, protein rich chickpea flour and plant- mylk, this creamy dish was a personal favourite!
Annushree savoured this over the weekends when she had a little longer time to cook and enjoy her breakfast.
The Winning Formula
It is never about lifestyle changes alone or nutritional changes alone, but a combination of both that helps in reversing a disease from the root cause.
Let Annushree's journey be that of inspiration for you to start making changes, even if they are small. To get in touch with me directly for a free consultation, please fill in the lead form below and my team will get us in touch!
Let's Just Talk. No Obligations.
I do free consultations every Tuesday's and Thursday's. Either way you will get some actionable tips to reach your fitness goals faster.